IMDb > All's Well That Ends Well (1981) (TV)

All's Well That Ends Well (1981) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
4 January 1981 (UK) See more »
Helena loves Bertram, but he's of noble birth, while she's just a doctor's daughter. But Bertram is at the court of the King of France... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Too reverential by half See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Celia Johnson ... Countess of Rousillon

Ian Charleson ... Bertram

Michael Hordern ... Lafeu
Angela Down ... Helena

Peter Jeffrey ... Parolles
Kevin Stoney ... Rinaldo

Donald Sinden ... King of France

Robert Lindsay ... Captain Dumain

Dominic Jephcott ... Captain Dumain

Paul Brooke ... Lavache

James Simmons ... Bachelor
John Segal ... Bachelor

Peter Sands ... Bachelor
Yves Aubert ... Bachelor
Terence McGinity ... First Gentleman
Max Arthur ... Second Gentleman

Rosemary Leach ... Widow of Florence

Pippa Guard ... Diana
Joolia Cappleman ... Mariana
Nickolas Grace ... The Soldier

Valentine Dyall ... The Astringer

Directed by
Elijah Moshinsky 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Giovanni Boccaccio  story (uncredited)
William Shakespeare  play

Produced by
Jonathan Miller .... producer
Joseph Papp .... producer
Original Music by
Stephen Oliver 
Film Editing by
Graham Taylor 
Production Design by
David Myerscough-Jones 
Costume Design by
Colin Lavers 
Makeup Department
Suzan Broad .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Derek Miller-Timmins .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Atkinson .... senior camera operator
John Summers .... lighting technician
Other crew
Eleanor Fazan .... choreographer
David Snodin .... script editor
John Wilders .... literary consultant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well" - USA (video title)
See more »
Greece:141 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director Elijah Moshinsky composed many of the shots as live action replicas of the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of All's Well That Ends Well (1968) (TV)See more »


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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Too reverential by half, 29 August 2010
Author: kmoh-1 from United Kingdom

In a sense, there has been too much effort and taste lavished on a problem play that is a long way short of Shakespeare's best. The Vermeer interiors and Rembrandt references look a treat, but (as well as being anachronistic by half a century) add weight where there is little in the text. A number of the performances do the same, including Angela Down's magnificent Helena, and Paul Brooke's Lavache, the least clownish, and most accountant-like, clown one could possibly hope to meet.

The problem is that if the play is read as a piece with serious psychological points to make and where motivation may be complex but remains explicable, then it is a hard play to watch. Bertram is a distinctly unappealing husband (Ian Charleson's performance does not find hidden depths) for a strong character such as Helena. The tormenting of Parolles by Bertram and his friends can be dismissed as Elizabethan knockabout, unless the treatment is highly realistic, in which case - as in this production - it looks like torture. The attempted seduction of Diana can be farcical, with the clever comedic logic of the rings and the pregnancy, but here seems simply unpleasant.

Donald Sinden's King is the sort of eye-rolling ham performance that will make sense of this play, but amidst the restraint he falls rather flat.

The stand-out performance is Celia Johnson's Countess, a lovely role brilliantly played. She is not the butt of any jokes, and so can be played tenderly. As with Sinden, the older style of acting suits the material. Sometimes, for example during the Florentine scenes, one aches for Johnson to be on screen.

It's not awful, just very much the wrong style, like filming St Trinians in the style of Cathy Come Home.

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